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The average bra size in America is growing at a nearly exponential rate. According to sales data and customer surveys collected by national lingerie retailer Intimacy, the average American cup size has gone from 34 B in 1983 to a whopping 34 DD in 2013.
The inflation of the American breast has not gone unnoticed: Florence Williams authored an entire book on the subject in 2012, in which she said that the the average bra size has grown from a 34B to a 36C in the last 15 years. But Intimacy's statistics are especially dramatic (34DD? Really?) We checked in with some other retailers to see if they had noticed a similarly busty trend.
According to the retailers we talked to, sizes appear to be on the upswing throughout the industry. The current bestselling bra size size at online lingerie emporium Figleaves.com is a 34 E. Figleaves.com's private label brand Just Peachy has also seen a high demand in larger sizing—up to 38 G. The retailer also has plans to roll out a new collection offering selections up to 38 H to continue to meet demand.
Specialty brands are adjusting their sizes, too. Trendy Italian lingerie label Cosabella, which specializes in soft-cup bras, tells Racked that within the past year they've added a size 38 band for C, D, and DD cups.
Cosabella thinks the trend has more to do with better customer service than it does with changing body types, however. "I simply believe the industry is focusing on larger cup sizes more in terms of offering, where they had never offered luxury or fashionable product before," said Guido Campello, VP of sales, branding, and innovation.
Intimacy believes that the demand for larger sizes comes from a mix better customer service and a heightened awareness among the customers themselves. "Instead of forcing D+ breasts into A to D cup bras, women are beginning to purchase larger cup sizes (G cup, for example) that actually fit properly," said a rep. "[Twenty years ago] the American market carried less than 20 sizes, so women with bigger breasts squeezed into bras that were two or more cup sizes too small. Therefore, the idea that breast size is increasing is perhaps slightly inflated due to women actually purchasing larger (and more accurate) bras for themselves."—Erika Graham